photographed during an utterly bizarre night dive near Yanggefo Island, one of 1,500 small and large islands in central Indonesia that together comprise Raja Ampat - hands down one of the most pristine, biodiverse and wild places left on Earth.
A bait ball of small fish gets hunted mercilessly as it tries to hide in the shadows of a pier - photo taken near Kralendijk, Bonaire (Dutch Antilles)
the golden jellyfish doesn't need to sting, instead it lives off of energy from the sun by teaming up with algae that lives inside of its tissues, this teamwork is called "symbiosis", another word for living together
just after its sinking to create an artificial reef for divers of all levels - Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
The Peacock Mantis Shrimp is one of the most fascinating and badass creatures in the world. It wields two club-like appendages that bash its prey into unconsciousness or even to death with a single blow. Each “punch” travels a short distance, but at up to 50 miles per hour within milliseconds, making it the fastest mechanical motion carried out by any animal.
The Mantis Shrimp also has some the most complex and advanced eyes of any creature with independently tracking, trinocular vision and depth perception in each eye. Their eyes can also detect ten times more color than human eyes can, including the UV spectrum.
I found this particular Peacock Mantis Shrimp guarding its eggs in its den, which was a small hole carved into the sandy bottom of a shallow bay in the Philippines. Once their eggs hatch the larvae can spend up to three months drifting in currents as plankton, before they too find themselves a suitable home, and begin the process of reproduction anew.
Mantis Shrimps are highly unusual invertebrates in that some species form monogamous, long term relationships lasting up to 20 years with the same partner. Male and female Mantis Shrimps are also known to work together in caring for their eggs.
Mantis Shrimps come in many different varieties, but the brightly colored Peacock version pictured here is always be one of my favorites to find.